Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training teaches emergency preparedness and disaster response skills to regular people, so that they can safely help themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods during major emergencies where first responders may be delayed.
People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace and community and can take the right steps to lessen the effects of these hazards on themselves, their homes or workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, individuals trained in CERT can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to their family, loved ones, neighbors or associates in their immediate area until help arrives. When help does arrive, CERT trained residents can provide useful information to professional responders and support their efforts, as directed, at the disaster site.
Taught by experienced instructors from the Sammamish Office of Emergency Management, Eastside Fire and Rescue, CERT volunteer instructors, and more, the free training combines 20 hours of classroom learning with hands-on training. CERT students learn disaster preparedness, light search and rescue techniques, disaster medicine, fire suppression, lifting and cribbing, and other necessary life safety skills. At the end of training, students put all their new skills to use responding to a simulated disaster in a realistic, half-day field training exercise.
The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. It prepares the individual to be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business, and government teams that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster.
Basic CERT courses are normally held twice a year, a Spring cohort and a Fall cohort.
This year's Spring cohort will be held every Tuesday evening from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm between March 3rd and April 28th. Note that there will be an exercise/drill at a time to be determined after completion of the last class. If a class must be skipped, lessons are taught in surrounding communities on different days so there are make up opportunities.
Classes will be located at Eastside Fire & Rescue Station 82, 1851 228th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA 98074, unless otherwise specified.
Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sammamish-spring-cert-program-tickets-91950886577
All people 18 years or older who live or work in the City of Sammamish are eligible for CERT training. People of all abilities are welcome to participate.
Basic CERT training is only $35.00. In addition, Basic CERT graduates are given a backpack filled with disaster response and personal protective equipment, including a helmet, reflective vest, and other emergency response equipment.
In addition to the 20 hour Basic CERT Course, individuals who wish to broaden their training and experience may join the City of Sammamish Advanced CERT (ACERT) Program. These volunteers are held to specific training and credentialing standards, must pass a City of Sammamish background check, and are authorized to assist the City in a variety of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery functions as affiliated disaster volunteers.
Throughout the year, ACERT members can also learn new skills, take refresher courses, and participate in additional training exercises. ACERT members can increase their knowledge and capability by attending classes provided by the City of Sammamish in shelter management, debris removal, post disaster damage assessments, advanced first aid, Automatic External Defibrillator use, emergency communications, and more. The Sammamish ACERT program administrators maintain records of this training and may call upon ACERT members when these additional skills are needed in the community.
ACERT member also can use their skills to help the program flourish by volunteering at scheduled outreach and community safety events, produce a newsletter, perform administrative work, or take leadership positions.
Email ACERT@sammamish.us for more information on CERT training or how to become involved in the Sammamish ACERT program.